Metaphors for Learning Mathematics: An Interpretation Based on Learners’ Responses to an Exploratory Questionnaire on Mathematics and Learning
International Journal of Secondary Education
Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2017, Pages: 70-74
Received: Oct. 5, 2017;
Accepted: Nov. 13, 2017;
Published: Jan. 25, 2018
Views 980 Downloads 45
Oniccah Thibodi, Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
This paper is linked to some work that I have done in my PhD research, which is in progress. It shows metaphors that learners have about mathematics. These metaphors were investigated through a questionnaire with seven open-ended questionnaires. An inductive analysis of the learners’ metaphors for mathematics indicated that learners had well developed and complex metaphors about mathematics, mathematics learning, mathematics teaching and the mathematics teacher. Some mental images were formed: Firstly, the notion that mathematics learning is challenging and may involve anxiety; secondly, that perseverance is needed as continuing effort will bring reward; and lastly, that positive or negative mental images of mathematics are related to the perception of and the active versus passive role of the learner. Considering that the metaphors were collected from learners with an extensive engagement with mathematics learning, the endings would imply that these metaphors reﬂects the students’ mental images formed as a result of experiencing mathematics learning through the use of metaphors.
Metaphors for Learning Mathematics: An Interpretation Based on Learners’ Responses to an Exploratory Questionnaire on Mathematics and Learning, International Journal of Secondary Education.
Vol. 5, No. 6,
2017, pp. 70-74.
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa. (2009). Report on the evaluation of Questions in Mathematics. Senior Phase. November 2009, AMESA. South Africa.
Cameron, L. (2003). Metaphor in educational discourse. London: Continuum.
Department of Basic Education. (2011). Curriculum and Assessment policy statement grades 10 -12. Mathematics. Pretoria. Department of Basic Education.
Epstein, A. S. (2007). The intentional teacher. Choosing the best strategies for young children’s learning. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Johnson, M. (1987). The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Kilic, C. (2010). Belgian and Turkish pre-service primary school mathematics teachers’ metaphorical thinking about mathematics. Proceedings of CERME 7, Rzeszow, Poland.
Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (2005). Metaphor we live by, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press.
Leavy, A. M., Mc Sorley, F. A., & Bote, L, A. (2007). An examination of what metaphor construction reveals about the evolution of preservice teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 1217-1233.
Leder, G., Pehkonen, E., & Torner, G. (2002). Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education? Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
Leedy P. D & Ormrod J. E. (2005). Practical Research. Planning and Design (8th Edition. Person Education International. Upper Saddle River. New Jersey.
McColm, G. (2007). A metaphor for mathematics education. Notices of the AMS, 54(4), 499–502.
Opie, C. (2010). Doing education research. SAGE Publication. Wiltshire. Chapter 6, pp 95-129.
Palmquite, R. A., (2001). Cognitive style and users’ metaphors for the web: Exploratory study. Journal of Academic Librarianship 27 pp 24–35.
Parzysz, B., Pesci, A., & Bergsten, C. (2005). The role of metaphors and images in the learning and understanding of mathematics. Fourth Congress of the European Society of Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 67–70).
Saban A. (2009). Functions of Metaphors in Teaching and Teacher Education. A Review Essay. Teacher Education. 17(4): 299–315.
Saban, A., Kocbeker, B. N., & Saban, A. (2007). Prospective teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning revealed through metaphor analysis. Learning and Instruction, 17, 123–139.
Sfard, A. (1998). Two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2): 4-13.